Tag Archives: benchmarking

NEEP Explores the Opportunities and Challenges of Multifamily Efficiency

Multifamily: A Nut Hard to Crack

Tung Huynh, NEEP's Public Policy Intern

Tung Huynh, NEEP’s Public Policy Intern

Multifamily housing represents an important sector with large untapped energy savings potential. Cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades can reduce energy use by 15-30% in buildings with five or more residential units, translating to almost $3.4 billion in annual utility bill savings for the multifamily sector nationwide. Improving energy efficiency in the multifamily market also contributes to greater local housing affordability and the “green” job market for energy efficiency retrofits. Despite these potential benefits, energy efficiency in the multifamily sector still faces significant policy and market barriers due to the complex landscape of the multifamily world.

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Citing the Evidence – the Benefits of Building Energy Disclosure Policies


The benefits of building energy rating and disclosure far outweigh the negatives. Any opposition can almost be considered… well, you get the point…

It’s amazing how one report, when branded with one of the biggest names in academia (Harvard) and funded by a well-heeled special interest opposition group (the Greater Boston Real Estate Board), can cause so much misinformation to be spread about Boston’s new building energy disclosure ordinance. Benchmarking and disclosure policies allow access to information that enables the market to value and respond to building energy performance. It’s the same concept as nutritional labels on food and MPG labels on vehicles, recognized around the world as important consumer protection and awareness measures.

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In Focus: NEEP Congratulates the Boston City Council for Enacting Building Energy Disclosure

Boston SealIn a 9-4 vote, the Boston City Council voted  to adopt energy benchmarking for its large buildings last week. NEEP congratulates Mayor Thomas Menino and the Council for their hard work to advance this landmark energy and environmental initiative. By enacting Docket #726, Boston will become the first city in New England and the eighth nationwide to provide for energy transparency in their buildings.

Manager of Public Policy Analysis

NEEP believes strongly that the new benchmarking ordinance can unlock tremendous energy and carbon savings in Boston’s commercial and industrial building sector, which is responsible for almost half of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.  As we have noted on our blog, evidence from existing programs suggests that benchmarking will drive significant energy savings in Boston’s building stock. And, according to First Fuel Software, almost half of savings in commercial buildings are achievable through low-cost operational improvements. It’s no wonder that such a broad array of groups backed the measure, including Boston Properties, Beacon Capital Partners, Jones Lang Lasalle, Winn Companies, as well as Saunders Hotel Group, the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, A Better City, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA).

Building Energy Policy Associate

NEEP is especially proud of the nine councilors who supported this common-sense policy in the face of a desperate campaign to mischaracterize it by a small minority led by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. Working together, the councilors addressed the concerns raised by residents and tenants and revised the ordinance where necessary. Contrary to opponents’ claims, property values will not be harmed and rents for residents will not rise. In fact, we are confident that the majority of building tenants and operators will achieve cost savings through energy efficiency.

We thank the Mayor for his leadership on energy and environmental policy. With building energy benchmarking enacted, Mayor Menino will leave office not only with a strong record but also an important tool for his predecessor to build upon.

Strong Partnerships Progress Multi-Family Project

Maine-MulitfamilyThe world of multi-family efficiency is reaching a turning point in its evolution. The multi-family sector promises substantial potential energy savings that have not yet been adequately addressed due, in part, to a number of market barriers impeding progress.

NEEP partnered with Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) last summer to collaborate on a comprehensive multi-family efficiency project. NEEP works in an advisory capacity to Efficiency Maine in order to increase the visibility and momentum of multi-family retrofits in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions through research, analysis, and project advisory efforts.

NEEP’s multi-family-team recently attended the Regional Multi-family Quarterly Progress Update in Maine this past week. The progress of the multi-family energy efficiency project to date, along with its associated implications regarding the program’s momentum and outreach efforts are exciting to say the least.

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Building Energy Rating and Disclosure picks up steam in government and corporate policies, Boston announces policy

Join the conversation in Stamford, CT on June 13th, 2012 at the NEEP Summit 

Building energy rating and disclosure policies are gaining steam as a mechanism to drive the market for energy efficient buildings and to reduce impact on the environment. Like food labels or miles-per-gallon ratings on cars, building energy rating and disclosure makes energy use transparent so that buyers, sellers, and renters know what they’re getting. When we know how much energy buildings consume, we’ll start to place more value on ones with efficient systems and lower energy costs, like we would cars that get lower gas mileage.  If we get a “low” rating on our home or building, we’re more likely to take action to make it more efficient, which could drive the retrofit industry, create jobs, and change occupant behavior for the better. Continue reading